The partnership will run initiatives and events throughout the year to support SMEs with their cybersecurity concerns.
Leading small and medium enterprise (SME) community network, Entrepreneurial Britain, has partnered with Vodafone to provide expert cybersecurity guidance to its SME members.
Vodafone has been providing expert cybersecurity services to enterprises since 1989, and earlier this week issued a report calling for Government to consider new cybersecurity policies to support the SME sector. In particular, the report called for the introduction of a reduced 5% VAT rate on cybersecurity products to ensure they are accessible to the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises community, alongside additional resources for the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to support the economic recovery of SMEs.
Through this partnership, Vodafone will help Entrepreneurial Britain’s community of over 50,000 SME business leaders navigate the risks posed by cyber-attacks to ensure small businesses are better protected online. This is particularly vital given the rapid adoption of remote working, and many business owners taking their operation online for the first time.
Vodafone’s cybersecurity report highlighted how vital it is that SMEs are aware of the increased risks they face from cyber-threats and have the tools and support to protect themselves. The report found:
4 in 10 SMEs (41%) had experienced some form of cyber-attack in the previous 12 months, with 20% experiencing six or more attacks.
31% said that they had seen an increase in cyber-attacks since the UK went into lockdown in March 2020.
23% of SMEs, roughly 1.3 million companies, said that an average cyber-attack costing £3,230 would destroy the business.
As part of the partnership, Entrepreneurial Britain and Vodafone will host a virtual panel discussion on Cybersecurity in the New World of Work. The event will feature industry experts including Richard Merrygold, Managing Consultant & Data Protection Officer at iSTORM and Victoria Guilloit, Partner at Privacy Culture, discussing key risks for SMEs with BBC Cyber Correspondent Joe Tidy. The event takes place 18 March at 2:30pm – SMEs can sign up here to attend.
The partnership will run further initiatives and events throughout the year to support SMEs with their cybersecurity concerns.
Francesca James, founder of Entrepreneurial Britain said: “We know that there are heightened cybersecurity risks to SMEs through working remotely. Currently, more than 75% of the SME workforce have been forced to work remotely, and with many organisations committing to at least some form of remote working post-Covid, the risk will continue to grow.
“With the threats likely to increase, it is great to see Vodafone making it a priority to support the small business community. It is vital that every small business leader is aware of cybersecurity risks and the strategies required to protect their businesses from costly attacks.”
Anne Sheehan, Director, Vodafone Business UK, said: “New opportunities have emerged for cyber criminals, and the SME community has to raise their game on cybersecurity to ensure they stay protected.
“We’re here to help and to raise awareness of the risks that businesses face, and we look forward to supporting Entrepreneurial Britain’s members.”
David Barker, a member of the Entrepreneurial Britain community and CEO of Tech Centre said: “Employees, managers and directors need to have a good understanding of the threat posed by cyber-attacks and the importance of guarding against data breaches.
“Investing in cybersecurity training for all members of staff to help them understand how data breaches happen and providing practical advice on how to set up effective defences, could save your business hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation claims for serious data breaches.”
Born out of the ‘The Great British Entrepreneur Awards’, Entrepreneurial Britain is an initiative which champions, supports and recognises the entrepreneurial eco-systems within Great Britain. Through various initiatives, Entrepreneurial Britain enables members to connect with each other for support and guidance, alongside hosting events to connect, inspire and educate.
As a key supporter of the small and medium business community, Vodafone provides a number of tools and solutions. These include the V-Hub digital support platform which provides resources, training and best practice guidance on managing cybersecurity risks alongside offering free one-to-one support from a team of expert advisers.